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photo: Martha G. Brady

photo: Martha G. Brady

Wow! Did I take some time off or what? We were in the Seattle area for 10 days. Usually, I take some time and get a few posts up, but I was having too much fun and enjoying my grandkids.  Ron got sick, not ill…a rarety. But thanks to vitamin C, I am good so far.

Since I knew a lot of you were taking time off with your families, I decided there was plenty on my blog to read if you were dying to read it. And I had some fun.

There was some partying, playing and Christmasing. It was a fun break. Now we’re back and I need to get writing away…which I have been doing this week.

Big event at our church last Sunday…our pastor’s last Sunday as a pastor for awhile!

Sunday  was a big event in our church. It was our pastor’s last Sunday as pastor there. We will miss him. He has been a very challenging pastor and encouraged me in terms of what it means to believe in the grace of GOD in my everyday life. Frankly, his style is a little off the wall…which I enjoy! It helps me remember the truth he teaches. How often does a funky illustration stick in your head for weeks, pounding home a truth you don’t really want to deal with? That’s the way his teaching works. Personally, I find it helpful.

In this less than 2 years here, I have learned a lot through His preaching as well as his encouragement to minister in a scattered way, outside of the doors of the church building. I have also appreciated the way he acknowledges elephants that are sitting in the room, rumbling around, bumping into everyone and causing all manner of trouble. He doesn’t let them sit around unacknowledged and I appreciate that.

It might not always be comfortable, but it is good for the health of the church in the long run.

Has he been perfect? I’m sure he hasn’t. He is often the first to admit his failure. I have been touched by that too. Granted, I wasn’t here during a host of problems a few years ago…and I’m glad I wasn’t. We’ve been in plenty of churches to pick up the pieces after problems. I’ve appreciated being in one where the pastor stayed and the church has worked to recover…by the grace of GOD.

We said the benediction to him as he starts this new chapter in his life

The service ended with one of the elders coming forward to ask us to speak the benediction to Jean Larroux III. As we stood there, speaking the words he usually speaks to us and we hold our hands out to receive, we all spoke them to him…and he dissolved into tears. He cries easily, but from experience I know that was a touching and emotional moment. The elder giving us directions could hardly get the words out. We will truly miss this man!

He faces 2015 with his plans not solidified. He is looking for a job but one is not lined up for sure. He knows he needs to deal with his family relationships…that is why he is taking a pause from the professional ministry. We will be praying for him and his family as they stay here and worship with us…and he experiences and expresses grace with us in a new way.

Here are the words of the benediction we hear each week…and we said over him yesterday.

The Lord your God is in midst of you,
    He is mighty to save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness;
    He will quiet you with his love;
He will exult over you with singing.

Zephaniah 3:17

Blessings Larroux family on this new chapter in your life.

You have been a blessing in our church and to our lives.

We have learned much from you in the short time we have been here. (Less than two years.)

We know GOD is going to continue to guide you…and be gracious to you…and quiet you with His love!